2

What is the meaning of largeish in below text:

I'd like to book a largeish group of students from York High School into the barns for a few nights in July.

4

It's an informal way to say large, but not very large.

The -ish suffix is often used to mean "somewhat", "almost", "approximately", or "similar to". Note that although there are some accepted adjectives ending in -ish (e.g., mannish and greenish), the use of -ish as a hedge for quantities is generally too informal for writing.

  • I'd amend that last sentence to "not generally used in formal contexts". – Euan M Sep 10 '17 at 1:34
2

It depends on what the author means by "a large group of students".

The suffix "ish" means "like" or "roughly" or "about". It is used to create adjectives. This particular use of "ish" is informal.

So if the author thinks 5 students constitute "a large group of students", then the meaning might be 3 - 7 students. If the author thinks 50 students constitute "a large group of students", then the meaning might be 30 - 75 students. If the author thinks 500 students constitute a "large group of students", then the meaning might be 200 - 1000 students, et cetera.

  • 1
    +1 And without a doubt the reply to the original statement will always be What do you consider "largish"? – Frank Sep 7 '14 at 6:41
  • 5
    I've upvoted your answer, although I'd interpret the word a little differently. If the author thinks 20 students is a large group, and would consider 10 to be a small group, then I'd guess he's expecting roughly 15-18 students – not quite enough to deem a "large" group, but too many to refer to as "small." Either way, though, as you say, -ish creates a measure of imprecision by design, and the word can mean different things to different people. If 500 is large, I'd be surprised if 800 showed up, but, then again, he might answer, "I was differentiating between large and huge." – J.R. Sep 7 '14 at 8:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.